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Welcome to Brighton

Your Brighton local guide for buying, renting or living here

July 2022

History

Brighton started as a small Saxon village in the 5th Century AD. Its original name was Beorhthelm's tun (Beorthelm's farm/village). Over the next few hundred years, Brighton became a hub for farming and fishing which, alongside its ideal coastal location, led to it becoming a thriving market town by the 14th Century.

The town was burned down by the French in both 1514 and 1545, but on both occasions, it was quickly rebuilt and maintained its flourishing population. However, when much of the town was destroyed in a devastating storm in 1703, large numbers of people fled Brighton and it didn’t truly recover until late into the 18th Century when it started to evolve into the exciting counterculture hotspot we recognise today.

Today's Brighton

Today, Brighton & Hove is a thriving city of around 277,200 people. It sits on the South East coast of England, about 47 miles from London, with the stunning South Downs National Park to its north.

The city has a national reputation for its vibrancy, diversity, culture, and counterculture and, as such, has a thriving community of local shops and businesses located down historic streets and lanes. There is an endless choice of pubs, bars, and restaurants and, of course, over 13km of stunning coastline.

Brighton is unique among England’s coastal towns and cities. It does not live in the past, reliant on its history to attract tourists, and nor does it live and die on seasonal holiday trade. It is a thriving 21st Century city all year round, where its bustling community of artists, musicians and writers live alongside young professionals, families and people whose ancestors have lived in the area for generations.

Quick facts about Brighton

Overall house price

Brighton’s average house price is £423,003.

This time last year, the price was £392,022 which means the annual price growth for Brighton is 7.9%.

For context, this compares to the average house price in the wider South East region which currently sits at £382,791 after increasing by 11.9% in the past year.

House price by postcode

Houses in Brighton command prices well above the national average. This is because it’s a hugely desirable area of the country with its coastal location, easy connectivity to London, and a cultural heritage that makes it a unique place to live.

Another contributing factor to Brighton’s high house prices is a lack of supply. Homes in the town are highly sought after and rarely come onto the market. When they do, they get interest from lots of hopeful buyers. This high demand and low supply means prices stay high.

Despite this, it’s true that prices in some parts of Brighton have decreased in the past year. This, however, is largely the result of prices coming back down to earth after the pandemic and its subsequent lockdowns pushed prices through the roof.

Demand

As well as high prices, homes in Brighton are in very high demand with lots of hopeful buyers competing for a relatively small amount of available homes.

At the time of publication (July 2022), there are 2,286 Brighton houses for sale with demand sitting at 79.6%. This means that 79.6% of available homes are already under offer or sold subject to contract.

Overall rent price

The average monthly rent in Brighton is £1,210

This time last year, the average rent was £1,282 which means prices have decreased by -5.6% in the past year.

Rent price by postcode

Soaring rental demand in Brighton is creating very high prices that, in the past year, have boomed. It is such a desirable place for young renters to live and there simply aren't enough Brighton homes to rent to satisfy demand, so these high prices are unavoidable.

Who lives in Brighton?

Brighton has a diverse demographic of residents. Brighton & Hove County Council found that one in five residents are Black or a minority ethnicity and identify as non-white British.

The town has a rich LGBTQ+ culture that has thrived since the 19th Century. Today, it is estimated that 11-15% of the local population - aged 16 and over - identifies as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.

Brighton also has an unusual age demographic, certainly compared to the national and regional South East pictures.  In simple terms, there are very few children and elderly people with the vast majority of the population aged between 20 and 44.

All of this means that Brighton is very popular among professional workers who are looking to leave London; creatives and artists who are attracted by the rich cultural heritage of the town; and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Brighton is also becoming popular with young families, many of whom are leaving London, enticed by the high quality of life, the plethora of good schools and the diverse community.

Things to do in Brighton

The seafront

Brighton’s main attraction is its seafront. The promenade has wonderful cafes, bars, restaurants and independent shops, while the water itself offers all sorts of sea sports and activities. Brighton’s sandy beaches are some of the best in the UK and even more can be found as you travel along the southern coast of England.

Unique shopping

Brighton offers an exceptional shopping experience. There are large shopping centres where you’ll find all of the big high street retailers, but the real magic is found in the alleys and side streets that are home to Brighton’s many independent retailers, from fashion apparel to skateboards and vinyl records.

Brighton’s main market is also a popular shopping destination, with Brighton Market leading the way as the city’s largest open-air shopping hub. Numerous travelling markets stop off in Brighton every month, including a vintage fashion fair and various specialist artisan food markets.

South Downs National Park

Located north of the city, the South Downs National Park is England’s newest national park (established in 2010), covering 628 square miles of beautiful English countryside. Landmarks within the South Downs National Park include Beachy Head, Seven Sisters Cliffs, the Litlington White Horse, and the breathtaking Devil’s Dyke Valley.

Royal Pavilion and Gardens

The Royal Pavilion, or Brighton Pavilion, is a former royal residence located close to the Brighton seafront. It’s a Grade 1 listed building, built in 1787 as a seaside retreat for George, Prince of Wales (later Prince Regent and then King George IV). Built in the Indo-Saracenic style common in India, it is a remarkably splendid building of domed roofs and royal opulence.

Today, it’s a popular tourist attraction and a renowned wedding venue. In 2014, the Pavilion hosted one of the first ever same-sex marriages in the UK.

The Pavilion is surrounded by magnificent gardens with a huge variety of plants, flowers and trees. In the summer, street performers entertain the visitors as they lounge, picnic and relax on the grass. There is also an on-site cafe. Designed in the Regency style, which Jane Austen often fondly described in great detail in her novels, today it’s believed to be the only fully restored Regency garden in the UK.

Transport in Brighton

When travelling around Brighton & Hove, there is a reliable bus network and a safe and comprehensive network of cycle lanes. However, many residents have no need to use much internal transport because Brighton offers such short distances between the seafront, town centre, and residential areas.

In terms of transport in and out of Brighton, there is very easy access to the M23/A23 to and from London, and the M27/A27 to and from Southampton and the west of England.

Brighton also benefits from enviable train services. Trains into London Victoria run frequently and take just one hour, while Gatwick airport is just 30 minutes away.  Journeys to Southampton take less than two hours.

Sport and Culture in Brighton

Sport

Brighton & Hove Albion FC is the city’s main football team. They compete in the Premier League and play their home games in Falmer Stadium, commonly known as ‘The Amex’.

Brighton Football Club (RFU) is also based in the city and is one of the oldest rugby clubs in the country, founded in 1868.

Sussex County Cricket Club plays its home games at Eaton Road in Hove.

Brighton is also home to clubs, teams, and venues for field hockey, motorsport, swimming, sailing, petanque and track cycling, to name a few.

Culture

Brighton’s culture is vast and wide-ranging. It’s home to the country’s oldest operating cinema (The Duke of York’s Picturehouse); a number of festivals including Pride, Brighton Fringe, and Great Escape; a host of museums and galleries led by the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery; thriving restaurants and nightlife; a large LGBTQ+ community; and has produced some of the country’s biggest musical acts including The Maccabees, British Sea Power, The Electric Soft Parade, The Go! Team, Norman Cook, and Royal Blood.

Famous Brighton Residents

Famous residents of Brighton past and present include Nick Cave (musician), Rudyard Kipling (writer), Charles Dickens (writer), Raymond Briggs (illustrator), Zoella (YouTuber), and Ben Hawes (Olympian).


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